Methaqualone is a controlled substance sold under the brand name Quaalude. It is a sedative and hypnotic medication that has been popular as a club and date rape drug. It has also been used for insomnia. If you are caught with a threshold amount of methaqualone, you should consult an experienced Clearwater methaqualone trafficking lawyer right away. The earlier that we can get involved in a methaqualone trafficking investigation, the greater is the likelihood that we will be able to develop a strong defense strategy on your behalf. At Hanlon Law, we fight for the rights of the accused.Methaqualone Trafficking Charges and the Associated Penalties
In order to secure a conviction for methaqualone trafficking, the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) knowingly (2) actually or constructively possessed, bought, sold, manufactured, imported into the state, or delivered (3) at least 200 grams of methaqualone or a methaqualone-containing mixture. The punishment for a conviction will depend on how much methaqualone beyond the threshold amount was involved. Many people are surprised to learn that they can be charged with trafficking even if they have no connections to a crime syndicate or greater drug dealing operation.
Methaqualone trafficking convictions come with mandatory minimum sentences. These are sentences over which judges do not have discretion. When there is a drug crime other than trafficking being charged, a judge has the discretion to consider, for example, that you are a first offender with a spotless record. This is not the case with a trafficking charge. If you are caught with 200 grams of methaqualone or Quaaludes, a relatively small amount of the drug, you can be convicted of trafficking and go to prison for a significant period of time unless a methaqualone trafficking attorney in Clearwater is able to defeat the charge.
If you are caught with 200 grams-5 kg. of methaqualone, you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison plus a fine of $50,000. If you are caught with 5 kg.-25 kg., you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. If you are caught with at least 25 kg. of methaqualone, you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison plus a $250,000 fine.
When the charge involves importing 50 kg. or more of methaqualone into the state, and the prosecutor is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew that the probable consequence of importing it would be someone's death, you can face a capital felony charge. This means that you may be sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole or even death.
You should not assume that a conviction is assured. As with other trafficking charges based on cocaine, cannabis, meth, or other substances, methaqualone trafficking must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It may be possible for a Clearwater methaqualone trafficking attorney to raise a reasonable doubt about whether your activities were conducted "knowingly." In other situations, there may be constitutional or procedural violations that allow us to file a motion to suppress evidence. If we are successful in showing that the police obtained the evidence of methaqualone through an illegal search and seizure, it may be possible to get the evidence suppressed, thereby demolishing the prosecutor's case. In other cases, it may be possible to argue that you were not given your Miranda warnings prior to being questioned and get incriminating statements related to your "knowing" about the Quaaludes suppressed. In some situations, such as when constructive possession is alleged, your Clearwater criminal lawyer may be able to argue that you did not have dominion over the place where the drugs were seized.
Often, a prosecutor brings charges based on the police's version of what happened. However, if we get involved early in the investigation, we may be able to provide explanations and other information to persuade the prosecutor that their case is not as strong as it may have appeared with only the information from the police. We may be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser level of drug crime, rather than drug trafficking.Get Assistance from a Methaqualone Trafficking Lawyer in Clearwater
If the police are investigating you for methaqualone trafficking or trafficking in another controlled substance, such as meth, cocaine, LSD, or morphine, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been dedicated to providing a vigorous defense in drug cases since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.897.5413 or complete our online form.